Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo

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Canada Rob

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I read somewhere that the M3i's "damping factor" is 36, while the Sphinx is rated at greater than 1000 (I get it now :)). 


True, that's what the damping factors of these amps are, but that's not likely the reason the Sphinx is sounding better to your ears, because one of the choicest amplifier types for Omegas is a SET which traditionally have very low damping factor.  All Omega drivers are very light and don't really benefit from high damping factor.  As far as the M3i not working well with Omegas, it's likely nothing more than the M3i's sonic signature and not an impedance issue or some electrical mismatch as Omegas present a very benign 8 ohm load and are very easy to drive.

Glad the Sphinx is working out mrvco.  Class D has come a long way.  I personally love the sound of the Temple Audio Bantam Gold Class D amp.  I would love to hear a Sphinx one day, as it looks like an incredible bargain, and made in the USA too.  :D
« Last Edit: 6 Oct 2015, 03:09 am by Canada Rob »

mrvco

Interesting.  I never had any complaints with the M3i on any of my non-Omega speakers.  But those speakers have all been more traditional 2-way and 3-way designs.  The Omegas are without question a different animal and so far the Spinx seems to complement them perfectly.

mrvco

How does the Rogue Sphinx sound in your system without a DAC?  How would describe the sonics?

Clear, transparent, revealing?  As far as my ears can hear, the Sphinx doesn't seem to color what passes through it.  I also have a new appreciation for the Bifrost Uber, it wasn't holding things back as much as I had previously imagined.  The only downside may be that if there is background noise / hiss in a recording (or any other junk), then you're going to hear it.

I haven't spent as much time listening to vinyl through it yet, but Townes Van Zandt's "Live at the Old Quarter" sounds great with plenty of detail and clarity.  My turntable is a Rega P3 (RB300 tonearm) w/ the Dynavector DV-10X5 cartridge.
« Last Edit: 2 Oct 2015, 11:53 pm by mrvco »

sruffle

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Interesting.  I never had any complaints with the M3i on any of my non-Omega speakers.  But those speakers have all been more traditional 2-way and 3-way designs.  The Omegas are without question a different animal and so far the Spinx seems to complement them perfectly.
Glad to see that you have the Sphinx.  When you get a chance, I highly recommend experimenting with different tubes.  I have the Mazda Ciftes in my Medusa and it made a really big difference vs. stock tubes.  One very nice thing about these Rogue hybrid amps is that the tubes don't cost much to change but have a big impact on sound quality.

mrvco

I've been doing some research on tubes and I can see that getting out of hand... please don't tell me that the $2k NOS tubes salvaged from a German submarine sunk during WWI make a night and day difference  :nono:  :lol:

sruffle

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Night and day is extreme for sure but anywhere from$40 to $150 can buy an improvement.  You can get a pair of RCA clear tops for under $50 or try some of the less expensive Amperex tubes.  I liked both of these in the Medusa.    The Ciftes were 150 from Upscale Audio.  Upscale Audio's site does make it sound like the tubes were rescued from an torpedoed sub I under 30 feet of ice.

mrvco

Are you using anything for power filtering / conditioning with the Sphinx?

mrvco

True, that's what the damping factors of these amps are, but that's not likely the reason the Sphinx is sounding better to your ears, because one of the choicest amplifier types for Omegas is a SET which traditionally have very low damping factor.  All Omega drivers are very light and don't really benefit from high damping factor.  As far as the M3i not working well with Omegas, it's likely nothing more than the M3i's sonic signature and not an impedance issue or some electrical mismatch as Omegas present a very benign 8 ohm load and are very easy to drive.

Glad the Sphinx is working out mrvco.  Class D has come a long way.  I personally love the sound of the Temple Audio Bantam Gold Class D amp.  I would love to hear a Sphinx one day, as it looks like an incredible bargain, and made in the USA too.  :D

Thanks for the info, I am planning on adding a tube amp (~Decware Super Zen).  I still have my NHT Absolute Towers, so I need to try the Sphinx w/ those since the m3i drives those very well.

RDavidson

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True, that's what the damping factors of these amps are, but that's not likely the reason the Sphinx is sounding better to your ears, because one of the choicest amplifier types for Omegas is a SET which traditionally have very low damping factor.  All Omega drivers are very light and don't really benefit from high damping factor.  As far as the M3i not working well with Omegas, it's likely nothing more than the M3i's sonic signature and not an impedance issue or some electrical mismatch as Omegas present a very benign 8 ohm load and are very easy to drive.

Glad the Sphinx is working out mrvco.  Class D has come a long way.  I personally love the sound of the Temple Audio Bantam Gold Class D amp.  I would love to hear a Sphinx one day, as it looks like an incredible bargain, and made in the USA too.  :D

I've said this elsewhere before : In my experience, class A/B amps tend to sound best when pushed a bit, say roughly 10% of their power rating constantly. So if you have a class A/B amp rated at 100 wpc, it will sound best when outputting  something closer to a constant 10 wpc. Speakers that are harder to drive will certainly help the amp perform in a more ideal way / in its "sweet spot." This isn't a rule of thumb or anything, as obviously there are too many parameters to consider between amp and speaker pairing (considering the multitude of designs out there) to make a real blanket statement. Note : Roger Modjeski found similar results in some tests he conducted and offered that this can be part of the reason less expensive, lower output amps can sound better than their bigger brethren in a system, given proper consideration to speaker / amp / room size / listening distance / and typical listening levels. I whole heartedly agree with this. While it is easier to just go buy the biggest amp you can afford and be done, it doesn't mean you're necessarily going to get the best performance. It's possible, but going this route offers no guarantee, whereas I can pretty much guarantee when one carefully considers the parameters I've listed, the chances of getting it "right" are much better.

With all that said, something interesting is that I have found Class D amps and Class A amps to not suffer the same "necessity to be pushed a bit" nature of Class A/B to sound great, if not their best. They tend to provide the best aspects of their sonic character from the first fraction of a watt and beyond. So, different topologies seem to have their inherent advantages (for various speaker pairings) that isn't really obvious on paper. I suspect this has a bit to do with what you're finding you like about the Sphinx vs the M3i with your Omegas. With your Omegas, the M3i isn't being pushed into its sweet spot operating range and probably sounds thin, I'm guessing. It isn't a bad amp. It's just that it likely works more happily with less simple loads where it can push some woofers around a bit. Meanwhile the Sphinx is more than happy to show up to the party whether it's just background music in a casual lounge or a full-on dance club.
« Last Edit: 9 Oct 2015, 10:02 pm by RDavidson »

mrvco

I've said this elsewhere before : In my experience, class A/B amps tend to sound best when pushed a bit, say roughly 10% of their power rating constantly. So if you have a class A/B amp rated at 100 wpc, it will sound best when outputting  something closer to a constant 10 wpc. Speakers that are harder to drive will certainly help the amp perform in a more ideal way / in its "sweet spot." This isn't a rule of thumb or anything, as obviously there are too many parameters to consider between amp and speaker pairing (considering the multitude of designs out there) to make a real blanket statement. Note : Roger Modjeski found similar results in some tests he conducted and offered that this can be part of the reason less expensive, lower output amps can sound better than their bigger brethren in a system, given proper consideration to speaker / amp / room size / listening distance / and typical listening levels. I whole heartedly agree with this. While it is easier to just go buy the biggest amp you can afford and be done, it doesn't mean you're necessarily going to get the best performance. It's possible, but going this route offers no guarantee, whereas I can pretty much guarantee when one carefully considers the parameters I've listed, the chances of getting it "right" are much better.

With all that said, something interesting is that I have found Class D amps and Class A amps to not suffer the same "necessity to be pushed a bit" nature of Class A/B to sound great, if not their best. They tend to provide the best aspects of their sonic character from the first fraction of a watt and beyond. So, different topologies seem to have their inherent advantages (for various speaker pairings) that isn't really obvious on paper. I suspect this has a bit to do with what you're finding you like about the Sphinx vs the M3i with your Omegas. With your Omegas, the M3i isn't being pushed into its sweet spot operating range and probably sounds thin, I'm guessing. It isn't a bad amp. It's just that it likely works more happily with less simple loads where it can push some woofers around a bit. Meanwhile the Sphinx is more than happy to show up to the party whether it's just background music in a casual lounge or a full-on dance club.

Thanks that does make sense.  I've had no complaints pairing the m3i with my previous speakers.  I was even a bit nervous that the Sphinx was going to be a lateral move (the m3i is very well reviewed and lists for a bit more than the Sphinx) and that I should be investing in a new DAC instead.  The Sphinx does pair very nicely with my Omegas and I'm glad I made the move.

roscoeiii

True, that's what the damping factors of these amps are, but that's not likely the reason the Sphinx is sounding better to your ears, because one of the choicest amplifier types for Omegas is a SET which traditionally have very low damping factor.  All Omega drivers are very light and don't really benefit from high damping factor.  As far as the M3i not working well with Omegas, it's likely nothing more than the M3i's sonic signature and not an impedance issue or some electrical mismatch as Omegas present a very benign 8 ohm load and are very easy to drive.

Glad the Sphinx is working out mrvco.  Class D has come a long way.  I personally love the sound of the Temple Audio Bantam Gold Class D amp.  I would love to hear a Sphinx one day, as it looks like an incredible bargain, and made in the USA too.  :D

Yes,  high  damping factor can be a downside with efficient single drivers, resulting in an over damped sound in the bass.

pstrisik

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ebay alert!!

A used Bantam Gold in black.....

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Temple-Audio-Bantam-Gold-Digital-amplifier-Superb-/371497338513?

Currently at £16.50 with five days to go.  Postage to the US is high though.

.........Peter

DaveC113

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Yes,  high  damping factor can be a downside with efficient single drivers, resulting in an over damped sound in the bass.

That was an issue with the older 4.5" hemp drivers but the new RS5s do really well with high damping factor amps, better than my Pioneer S-1EX actually...


Canada Rob

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Yes, the RS5 is way less picky than the 4.5 Hemp.  The RS5 has been a gain over the 4.5 Hemp all the way around, without a single detriment.  I put together a TPA3116 amp using the original "red board" which apparently is the lowest common denominator of the TPA3116 boards.  At first I didn't care for it, as I found it glaring on the top end, so it went into my sons desktop system for awhile on which it got a good workout with his simulators (read that, break in).  When I put it back with my Super 3Us it was somewhat settled down and I'm quite enjoying it.  I'm looking forward to hearing one of the Fleawatt TPA3116 amps that Derek is sending on tour.

vinagunner

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« Last Edit: 15 Mar 2016, 03:38 am by vinagunner »

HiFiJeff

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Yes, the RS5 is way less picky than the 4.5 Hemp.  The RS5 has been a gain over the 4.5 Hemp all the way around, without a single detriment.  I put together a TPA3116 amp using the original "red board" which apparently is the lowest common denominator of the TPA3116 boards.  At first I didn't care for it, as I found it glaring on the top end, so it went into my sons desktop system for awhile on which it got a good workout with his simulators (read that, break in).  When I put it back with my Super 3Us it was somewhat settled down and I'm quite enjoying it.  I'm looking forward to hearing one of the Fleawatt TPA3116 amps that Derek is sending on tour.

You are going to love it! I have paired it with a few different speakers and it has made them all sound good. I currently have it hooked up to some "vintage" Pioneer CS-907's that I paid $5 for at Goodwill and those even sound okay with the little Fleawatt. Can't wait to hear it paired with the Omega's! 

Brianportugal

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Thankyou Rob and Peter.

mrvco

Has anyone else here paired the Rogue Audio Sphinx with their Omegas?  And has anyone here tried Nuprime amplification (e.g. IDA-8, STA-9) with their Omegas?  The IDA-8 was mentioned earlier in this thread, but I don't believe seeing a post from anyone that bought one.

Canada Rob

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I have not heard the Sphinx, but within the last year have heard three different Class D amplifiers on my Omegas, and they all share one thing in common: low level dynamics.  Some solid state amps need to have the volume cranked a little in order get the dynamics flowing, which in the case of Omegas (which are very efficient) would cause them to play too loud. 
This is not my finding with Class D - the dynamics flow right away, making them work well with Omegas.  All that said, the Sphinx being a Class D should be theoretically a good match, not to mention the Sphinx appears to be a bargain.

sruffle

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Has anyone else here paired the Rogue Audio Sphinx with their Omegas?  And has anyone here tried Nuprime amplification (e.g. IDA-8, STA-9) with their Omegas?  The IDA-8 was mentioned earlier in this thread, but I don't believe seeing a post from anyone that bought one.
I used my Omegas with the Rogue Medusa.  It is a step up from the Sphinx but shares some of the same characteristics.  It worked very well.  I moved on to a SET amp but enjoyed my time with it.